Finally got around to building a cart of the little jointer. I was keeping this on the floor and lugging it on the workbench when needed.
This cart is using some new casters I got from Amazon. I think I like these much better than the casters from Lowes. Seem smoother. Cheaper too. These don’t have locks. Next time I may try a set from Amazon with locks.
We have a birthday party coming up next month with a Pokemon theme. I made some simple cornhole boards and fixed up some bean bags to look like pokeballs.
I started making a strong board with a 2×4 frame around plywood but then decided to go lighter and cheaper. I’m not too sure how much use these will actually get, plus it will be nice if they can be folded up for minimal storage and easy moving. The design is simply a 2-foot by 4-foot piece of plywood then a 2-foot by 1-foot plywood stand on the back with cabinet hinges. I drew a six-inch circle for the cutout and used a drill and jigsaw. I painted the boards white with spray paint, then made a template with a big cardboard box. Using the template, I painted the red area and then black outlines.
Finally, the kids helped make the pokeballs using fabric paint and permanent markers.
The boards came sanded, but it would have been better I think to sand them further. I probably should have also used a dedicated primer. I’m using glossy paint, but the bags don’t slide at all. I might try a top coat enamel if I feel like.
Anyway, this was a fun little project that got the kids excited.
I’m calling this a maker project because it took a ton of work. We’ve been working on our kitchen and dining room for the past few weeks. Painted the walls, new lighting, new flooring, and new trim. We’re happy with how it turned out!
With my cutting board adventures, I made some board cream similar to John Boos Butcher Block Board Cream. This is a really cheap and simple. Basically, measure by weight 5 parts mineral oil with 1 part bees wax in a sauce pan. You can add more or less mineral oil depending on the desired consistency.
Mineral oil must be food grade. I get mine in the pharmacy area as a laxative. I got the bees wax from Amazon because I couldn’t find a local source for something other than candles, which may not be processed with the intention of food use.
You want to heat very slowly and swirl the pan until the wax dissolves. You can use a double boiler if you wish, but going slow worked for me. I poured the finished product into two half pint jars and let it cool to turn into a paste
To use, I scoop it out with a towel and rub it into the board after washing. I then let it sit on the wood, and if I feel like, I’ll wipe it clean. For fresh boards, it seems a good idea to first saturate the board with just mineral oil. Doing this should limit any water being absorbed by the wood. The waxy board cream then should help water seal it further.
This cutting board was a little more complicated build with doing essentially two different glue-ups. One was for the center maple part of the board and second the border. It was a little tricky gluing together single rows of blocks. I ended up doing the long sides in two parts. I still had some trouble getting things to line up well. I also goofed and did cross cuts of the center maple before running it through the planer. So, that made the maple area smaller than expected.
Anyway, this design was inspired by David Picciuto’s book of cutting board designs. I’m getting determined to get end grain cutting boards right, so I got a book of designs.
After the last glue-up, I had a lot of excess glue and uneven seams. I need to work at doing better glue ups, which I’m planning for my next board. After the board was complete, I ran the router over it like before. This time went better with the improvements I made to the jig.
Another pie out of the Art of the Pie book. It’s been fun baking my way through this book because there are some combos I’d never expect. Peach blueberry was good but probably at the top of my list.
This crust was made a couple week ago with the Blueberry pie. I rolled it out, put it in a pie pan, then put it in an XL zip top bag, and then in the freezer. This is using frozen fruit, so it’s an easy bake for a week day. I preheat the oven, bring out the crust, mix up the crumble, then bring together the filling. Dump it in the crust and into the oven.
Some day I’d like to either rebuild this cart or build a more traditional work bench. Until then, I’m getting an idea of what is helpful and what is not helpful for me to a work surface. One thing I decided to add last week was a bench vice.
This is an Eclipse 7-inch vice that has a few features that I wanted. I wanted something that mounted to the side of the bench and sat level with the surface. I didn’t want a bench-top model. I also wanted something that I could use to hold a workpiece against a bench dog, and this has a little notch that can pop up for this purpose. I also wanted to screw in some scrap wood to prevent the metal of the vice from marring the surface of a workpiece. Lastly, I like how this vice has a quick release to quickly open and close without working the vice.
I opted for the smaller 7-inch model because it was significantly cheaper and I don’t see myself needing to hold anything much bigger. Plus it just seemed like a small vice would be an easier retro fit into my bench`.
The vice is designed to sit about 2.25-inches from the surface. This means a 2×4 and 3/4-inch bench top fits it perfectly. Since the front of my cart has a 2×4 running vertically, I trimmed down a section with the jigsaw. The cutout isn’t pretty, but it works. Then I screwed in a new 2×4 to lay flat under the bench top. This supports the second bolts for the vice and I have it screwed from the front of the work bench and sides with the side of the bench and middle cross support.
I ran four 3/8-inch 4-inch hex bolts through the bench top and secured them with washers and nuts. The rear bolts could actually be shorter since there’s less material in the vice. I made it work just by adding some extra washers rather than another trip to the hardware store. Also, I didn’t have a 3/8 counter-sink bit to have the bolt sit below the bench top. I ended up just making the holes a little bigger with a drill. Doing this, however, I actually over drilled a couple of the holes, so the heads spun freely in those holes. It’s not solid tight, but it works.
The last part was I cut two pieces from 1×4 pine to screw into the vice. I trimmed the height of the board to be flush with the workbench top.
Tip: Make sure to screw in the wood before bolting it down! Another tip, this thing fell off the bench and chipped the paint. Don’t do that either.
I’m planning to make a bunch of different cutting board. I love wooden cutting boards and these seem a good way to learn different skills. Plus they’re relatively small projects so I can finish things. Even better, I can make things to my preferred size.
This board was inspired by a YouTube video. Mine uses maple and walnut in an interesting pattern. My pattern didn’t line up exactly, but it’s functional and looks nice. Next time I’ll need to pay better attention to my cut sizes.
My process was to cut the board into the directed strips. Then glue them together in the directed alternating pattern. Then cut the laminated board across the grain. Then finally glue that together in an alternating pattern. I also clamped a couple board to the top of the glue ups to try and keep the individual boards as level as possible. Lastly, I trimmed the edges with the table saw to make everything even and clean.
I used my planer to smooth the long grain board before the second glue up. Then I used my planer-jointer jig for my router to clean up and level. I then used a straight bit on a router and router guide to make a cutout for easy lifting and also rounded over all the edges with a 1/2-inch roundover bit. Then sanded it down with an orbital sander. Finally, I put rubber feet to give it stability. For the finish, I used John Boos oil and board cream.
Next time, I’d want to ensure all boards are the same thickness. Also, take better care to measure the cuts better. Also, I suspect it would help to factor in the width of cuts to the width of the board. I’m not sure how to figure that into something like this design with different board widths.
The goal of this jig is to level edge grain surfaces for cutting boards. Running edge grain through a planer is tempting, but not recommended. I’m not going to risk my new planer, so I’m trying this setup. The idea here is to use a router with a large straight bit to chew through the surface of the wood. To get a level surface, you run the router over the workpiece in a parallel plane.
So, I built a simple sliding platform with a center slot that rides along two rails. I used 3/4 particle board for the bottom and 2x4s for the rails. I ran the 2×4 through the jointer to get them level. In theory, the jointed rails and flat particle board should be parallel to the work surface that’s supporting the workpiece.
I glued two sides on top of the jig on the long edge using more particle board. This keeps the router on the jig. I also glued two guides to the bottom of the jig to keep it on the rails. Here I used scrap plywood that I already had cut into strips. At first, I didn’t have these guides, but the vibration of the router makes the jig move laterally and slip off the rails. For the slot, I measured the diameter of my router bit and cut out a slot in the surface of the jig. To cut, I just drilled some holes and used a jigsaw. It’s nothing fancy or pretty. The critical parts of this jig are the flatness of the bottom and the rails.
To set up the jig, I placed two scrap pieces of wood between the cutting board and rails. Then I clamped it all together to make it stable. For height, I slide the jig on either the long or short side of the glide boards and adjusted the router bit depth as needed. The jig and rails are not attached so that it can handle a variety of sizes. I just need to have a couple pieces of scrap wood to fit between the rails and workpiece. Also, note the burn marks from my table saw. I recently picked up a new saw blade and it’s an amazing difference on hardwood.
In my first attempt, it did the job, but I ended up taking off a lot of material. And it made quite a mess. Next time, I’ll fine tune the technique and setup to get a lighter pass. There was also some machine marks, which isn’t a big deal since it needs to be sanded, but this can probably be improved.
You can make this jig as wide as needed. This one is about two feet, I think. You just want to make it wide enough to accommodate the workpiece and a little buffer so not to run into your rails. (I thought about clamping stops for the router, but I kept it simple and was just mindful of my progress.)
BONUS: My bench jointer can face joint up to 6-inch boards and my planer can thickness plane up to 12-inches, so I’m thinking this jig could be useful if I need to mill larger boards for thickness or straightness.